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leveling a machine stand on wheels - anything new?

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  • BCRider
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    As I see it, there is no need to have the levels on the edge of the plate......
    From my post you referred to....

    If like me it even bothers the rest of you to see even a sketch of a delicate machinist's level on the edge of a sketch of a surface plate then use a square to align the level further in from the edge so it's not at risk of being brushed off the plate.
    I apologize for the missing text in red that was intended to be there. But clearly I hooked you in as a kindred soul that was bothered even by the sketch of the levels being set at the edge of the plate. Hell, I was nervous just making the sketch ! ! ! !


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  • BCRider
    replied
    Originally posted by Rich Carlstedt View Post
    Being level is NICE, but not needed......
    Rich
    I tend to go with that idea too. Nice but hardly needed. Just level enough that round things don't roll off pretty well instantly is fine.

    MM's plate was mentioned as being a 36x36x8 inch slab. So at that point I'm thinking that if the stand was made strong and stiff against being pushed around but deliberately able to flex to some small degree then the four corners will easily be pressed into compliance with any reasonably flat floor. That might avoid any need for adjustable casters. But if that is the case then it might mean that any storage below needs to rest on three points too so it can float with the flexure changes of the legs and main surrounding frame as they comply with the floor.

    At that point if desired the three pads that support the plate itself could be made adjustable for any degree of leveling that is desired.

    This might mean that some locations that might have a local hump or hollow can't be used. But that would be a pretty nasty floor for that degree of bad pour.

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  • ChazC
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    Please do have a video camera running when you tell the cement pouring crew that. I bet their reaction will get a million YouTube views in the first hour.

    Getting a slab that flat and level will cost more than the rest of the shop building and all of it's contents. And that applies to a garage shop attached to a house.




    Super Flat (& level) floors aren't cheap, but easier to achieve in a small area vs. an entire warehouse. However, the prep starts with the foundation, so you'd have to do a lot of demo and the mobilization costs would be high. Also, there are only a handful of contractors in the U.S. who can actually perform the work.

    That said, if you do the demo and some of the prep work yourself, and could piggy-back your floor onto a warehouse job, it may not be too outrageous. Then again, there is also the cost of the divorce to consider . . .

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  • Rich Carlstedt
    replied
    Being level is NICE, but not needed.
    Look at the functions normally done on a surface plate.
    Seldom does "level" come into being with the type of measuring tools and instruments used and the type of measurements being made.
    Yes, My Surface plate is level ,level,level, but the one (4 x 4 ) at the Tech College is on casters and is used everyday and no complaints.
    Now i am not talking about weird floors, just the normal flat concrete floors found in most machine shops

    Now I understand the poster has a request for mobile leveling and that means doing something out of the ordinary.
    Jerry Tiers has the best or easiest solution I think that complys with the posters desires for no bending and ease of adjustment by using Redi-Rod
    Rich

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  • swarfjunky
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    If you are insisting on doing the leveling at the bottom, I do not see any reason why the casters, any casters you choose can not be mounted on a hinged plate with an adjustment screw that is extended to a comfortable height where a knob or lever is placed on it. The hinge should be quite tight, no slop. If gears or belts or hydraulics are added to the mix, then the controls can be brought to a single point wherever that may be. The linkage could combine the needed adjustments for front-back and left-right into one control knob for each of those.

    Add some sensors and a microprocessor or three and the whole thing can be automated. Then a higher level control processor for voice commands. "Go to lathe, left side, lock your wheels, and level yourself."

    "And brew a cup of coffee - cream and sugar, please."
    So then the question becomes, is that cheaper than pouring a perfectly flat and level floor? That's a rhetorical question bye the way.

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  • Paul Alciatore
    replied
    If you are insisting on doing the leveling at the bottom, I do not see any reason why the casters, any casters you choose can not be mounted on a hinged plate with an adjustment screw that is extended to a comfortable height where a knob or lever is placed on it. The hinge should be quite tight, no slop. If gears or belts or hydraulics are added to the mix, then the controls can be brought to a single point wherever that may be. The linkage could combine the needed adjustments for front-back and left-right into one control knob for each of those.

    Add some sensors and a microprocessor or three and the whole thing can be automated. Then a higher level control processor for voice commands. "Go to lathe, left side, lock your wheels, and level yourself."

    "And brew a cup of coffee - cream and sugar, please."

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul Alciatore
    replied
    Please do have a video camera running when you tell the cement pouring crew that. I bet their reaction will get a million YouTube views in the first hour.

    Getting a slab that flat and level will cost more than the rest of the shop building and all of it's contents. And that applies to a garage shop attached to a house.



    Originally posted by RB211 View Post
    I was working out this problem in CAD and discovered the solution is to make sure your floor is perfectly flat and level.

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  • Paul Alciatore
    replied
    As I see it, there is no need to have the levels on the edge of the plate. To a first degree of approximation, you would get the same result with the level in the middle of the plate for both adjustments. Just do the A adjustment first and then the B. Do them with the level aligned parallel to the two edges as shown.

    A further refinement would be to consider that the surface plate does bend a bit and the edges will sag as will the center point between the three points of suspension. But even considering that, I still argue that having the level in the center of the plate (the center of the triangle formed by the three points of suspension) is the preferred location for the level.

    So just put the level in the center.

    I was not trying to say I invented the idea of separating the two functions. I just prefer doing it that way.



    Originally posted by BCRider View Post
    Paul, the combo idea for one equalizing foot and then the adjusters on the plate itself was Swarfmonkey's, not mine. But darned if it isn't a great one.

    What I like about the separate plate levelers is that if one should wish it is super easy to level first across the short direction and then along the long. And with a fine enough thread on the adjusters super easy to even level it to the degree permitted by a machinist's level. Just lay the level along each edge for each axis and level.

    It is worth noting though that the A leveler must be done first and THEN the B.

    If like me it even bothers the rest of you to see even a sketch of a delicate machinist's level on the edge of a sketch of a surface plate then use a square to align the level further is so it's not at risk of being brushed off the plate.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Surface Plate Leveling.jpg Views:	96 Size:	53.8 KB ID:	2002044
    Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 05-26-2022, 11:48 PM.

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  • swarfjunky
    replied
    Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post

    I seem to have had a senior moment for which I apologize. There isn't much that can be done with the existing stand other than use shims to level the plate. But it won't be movable without a big production. I posted this question thinking of building a new stand, and part way along I sort of forgot and started posting as though my goal was to modify the existing stand. I feel sort of dumb and I sure didn't want to waste people's time.

    metalmagpie
    No problem metalmagpie. It happens to the best of us

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  • metalmagpie
    replied
    Originally posted by swarfjunky View Post
    metalmagpie,

    Are you asking for ideas for modifying an existing surface plate stand or for fabricating a new one?

    Rog
    I seem to have had a senior moment for which I apologize. There isn't much that can be done with the existing stand other than use shims to level the plate. But it won't be movable without a big production. I posted this question thinking of building a new stand, and part way along I sort of forgot and started posting as though my goal was to modify the existing stand. I feel sort of dumb and I sure didn't want to waste people's time.

    metalmagpie

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  • ChazC
    replied
    Not new, but tried & true: Heavy Duty Floor Lock, like this one from Grainger:

    Click image for larger version

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    Mounted between swivel casters on one end of a mobile cart, this gives you secure three-point support; the lock is designed so that it can be engaged and released with your foot. The floor lock needs to be sized to lift the cart clear of the swivel wheels, and I would use wide 6" or 8" HD Urethane wheels.

    I have a lighter duty floor lock on an HD roller cabinet where my 12" x 18" surface plate lives:

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    Also from Grainger, but via Zoro who had it at a lower price (even had the Grainger item number):

    Click image for larger version

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    I reinforced the bottom of the cabinet and had to trim the two release arms as they interfered with the rotation of the swivel wheels. I recommend checking this before you turn the cart/cabinet upright, replace the full drawers and put the surface plate on top – that way you won't need to use a reciprocating saw to trim the arms in situ.

    And yes, a #10 can corrugated tray is a perfect fit over a 12" x 18" surface plate to keep dust away, and it's a lot cheaper than a vinyl cover that costs more than a new surface plate (I have a piece of 1/4" MDF on top of the plate under the inverted tray to protect it from dings).


    Charlie

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  • swarfjunky
    replied
    metalmagpie,

    Are you asking for ideas for modifying an existing surface plate stand or for fabricating a new one?

    Rog

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    It does appear that he wants to make another stand that will do what he wants.

    One way, is to use allthread for the adjustment screw. Run it up inside the stand and allow access to the top through a hole at each leg. A nut welded etc onto the allthread at the top allows adjustment. Bottom just gets rounded, and goes in a hole in a "foot" block.

    Would let you adjust while watching a level.

    Originally posted by swarfjunky View Post
    metalmagpie wrote:

    "I seem to often want to make a stand or rolling base which I want to roll or stay put but also which I want to be able to level, ideally without having to bend down to the ground to do it."

    "My surface plate stand has a 3/8" plate on top..."

    Sorry, I assumed you wanted to make a stand.

    Rog
    Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post
    ..............................

    I want to build a stand for a 36x36x8" surface plate and I want it to be able to be leveled and also to roll. As there is little force involved in the use of a surface plate, it doesn't need to stay put i.e. if it were on casters, that would be fine.

    Have you seen any nifty ideas lately?

    metalmagpie


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  • Bob La Londe
    replied
    Originally posted by RB211 View Post
    I was working out this problem in CAD and discovered the solution is to make sure your floor is perfectly flat and level.
    Hahahah

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  • swarfjunky
    replied
    metalmagpie wrote:

    "I seem to often want to make a stand or rolling base which I want to roll or stay put but also which I want to be able to level, ideally without having to bend down to the ground to do it."

    "My surface plate stand has a 3/8" plate on top..."

    Sorry, I assumed you wanted to make a stand.

    Rog

    Leave a comment:

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